Friday, 15 August 2008

Dirty Thoughts From Other Peoples' Comments Sections 2 -- The Quickening!

*I don't seem to be able to get my response to Plok's "what's your favourite blog post? " entry to stick on his site, which makes me giggle since in that very comments thread Plok notes that he can't comment on my blog. [Update: Plok's fixed the problem. Apparently my comment looked a lot like spam to his comments filters, which is understandable!] Anyway, here's the comment I've been trying to leave there:
Oops--I thought I'd changed my blog's setting so that it would take anonymous/name & url comments, but obviously not. That's been changed now, so feel free to jump in!

Sean, I'm blushing my face off at the company you've (potentially) placed my Filth posts in -- there's still ample scope for me to make a mess of that project, so... here's hoping I don't do that!

Anyway, I've not been tagged by this, but Sean urged everyone to jump over, so my answer is -- David Fiore on Animal Man! That piece was a huge influence on me when it appeared on the web, and it continues to do wonderful things to my brain to this day (thanks Dave!).

Other contenders -- Jog and Marc Singer are ridiculously good, as has been noted. I'm particularly partial to their pieces on Arkham Asylum, Seven Soldiers and The Wire.

Sean and Plok -- you guys write the two most entertaining blogs I know, but I wouldn't know where to start listing your best posts.

Also, for music blogs, I have to recommend Clap Clap on Amerie, and so many posts on both Said the Gramophone and Church of Me.

Plok: that Olsen The Red post kills, and reminds me that I need more humour in my Internet diet.
*Over on Andre Hickey's blog, I posted the following little ramble in response to his typically sharp thoughts on the first three issues of Final Crisis:
It occurs to me that Final Crisis is the most extreme application of this form yet — Batman, Seven Soldiers and 52 all hint at a bigger picture that is just outside of the reader’s perception, but they have clearer focal points for reader identification (Animal Man, Will Magnus, Batman, any one of the Seven Soldiers). So far Final Crisis has taken the decentred madness of Seven Soldiers #1 as its starting point and went nuts from there. I love it, but I can see why it’s not for everyone…
*Much as I'm enjoying the pulp modernism of Final Crisis, the comic from last week that really got me going was Kyle Baker's Special Forces #3. I was too busy working away at my upcoming post on issue #4 of The Filth to write anything about Baker's book myself, but here's what Jog said about it in the comments section over at The Factual Opinion:
I love the hell out of Special Forces. It's the meanest, maddest comic around. And it pulls off a really fine balancing act, I think, in that it's as much a parody of a catastrophically stupid war-action comic as a satire of current events... all the weird, quasi-superhero stuff going on, how it's carefully synched up with the story's cites to macho foreign policy tidbits... "AXIS OF EVIL MUTANTS," leading into that whole thing with mutilated children vis a vis vows against killing, tough guy 'honor'... never mind where the narrative paradigm Baker's working from obviously originates, which just adds another layer... it's kind of an astonishing work, really deeply clever but just frothing with this immediate rage... and there's jokes! Funny ones!
He's not wrong! I remember reading that bit at the back of Eddie Campbell's Alec-how to be an artist where Campbell notes that for all his talent Baker sometimes lacks a substantial theme, and thinking "yeah... sounds about right". Recently, I've had to revise that opinion, which has been... interesting. Between Special Forces, The Truth and Nat Turner, Baker's been making some very overt gestures at big meaning, sometimes in the context of his trashiest and most mainstream work. I mean, Special Forces reads like modern Frank Miller comic with proper punchlines, while Baker's art on The Truth channeled Jack Kirby's blockiest impulses into something new. Nat Turner's a much more softly textured, less mainstream work, but I really need to read it again before I attempt to comment on it in any detail.

The real exception here is The Bakers, which seems unconcerned with doing anything more than capturing some of the more amusing facets of everyday family life.

Anyway, this is turning into something bigger than it was supposed to, so I think I might come back to this topic when I've got the time.

More soon!


sean witzke said...

The way I phrased that makes me feel like a dick - I was listing series and yours is so far unfinished. Unequivocally, your Filth stuff is damn good. Stuff I'd put next to Singer and Jog.
And thanks, but your overselling me.

When that Special Forces trade comes out I'm getting that.

plok said...

Fixed it, David! Wordpress read you as spam...quite a reasonable mistake on its part, as non-spam comments rarely crack the twenty-five-link ceiling(!), which very links I am off to read!

As for my actual best post, I dunno, but the most fun reading on my blog is probably the Time-Travel Meme.

More Filth!

David said...

Sean -- it didn't come off as dickish to me, I just took it as a fair qualifier given that the series is unfinished, as you say.

Plus I'm not kidding, I'm genuinely blown away by the fact that anyone would even mention my Filth posts in that company.

Also, seriously, your blog's great. Good links, good music, good thoughts on comics and movies. Plus, you're funny, and where else on the Internet have I been inspired to write lengthy comments about the (not so) secret history of strangling in US tv?

Actually, maybe that last bit is more indicative of my rapidly disintegrating mental state than anything else...

Like I said before, Bloggers: Don't Fuck With The Filth! It does things to you.

And yeah, Special Forces is crazy-great, in a slightly "what the fuck?" way. I definitely recommend that you pick it up whenever it gets traded.

David said...

Plok -- thanks for fixing that. I was trying to post the comment from work, and for about five minutes I was convinced that my comments had been redirected to a sinister management office somewhere else in the city.

I was waiting for the hunter-killer IT drones to close in for the kill when I realised that I'd had five coffees and two bottles of lucozade that morning and was probably just jittery with sugar and caffeine -- good times!

This paranoia probably has its roots in another job I had a year or so ago. I'd write and email elaborate essays, comic scripts and short stories to my friends at least once a day at that job, because it was the kind of gig which has long dry spells mixed with bursts of frantic activity.

Eventually, through a series of circumstances we shan't go into, I discovered that the manager spent a fair amount of time reading all of the internal email traffic to keep a tab on inter-office affairs, which... I'm kind of amused that they had clear evidence that I was procrastinating like a motherfucker and still didn't say anything.

I guess my comic script about cyborg versions of Nixon and Alex Salmond battling their way through wave after wave of zombie bastards in Glasgow's subway system in a race to find the secret heart of the city wasn't comment worthy.

It certainly wasn't very good, but... was it better than gossip about who did what with who in the bathroom at what club last night? Probably not, but I'll pretend that it was all the same. Sometimes, we need the little illusions to get through the day, you know?

My post on the fourth issue of The Filth is almost finished, but I've got to be careful because I've came very close to totally messing up the end of the piece.

I'll get it posted here as soon as I'm happy with it, but a mild rewrite is in order...

Also: that Time-Travel Meme post is fucking great. Best comments thread, hands down.